Weekly Formula 1 Roundup

Austin GP track may be finished by August

The Circuit of the America’s track in Austin, Texas, May be ready by August, according to reports. The track is scheduled to host the 2012 US Grand Prix on November 16-18 November.

However, Doubt was thrown over the race in November 2011, when disputes inside the management company began. The construction then ground to a halt after another dispute, This time between Full Throttle Productions (The owners of the track) and Formula One Management because the company had been in breach of its contract since May 2011.  Then the state of Texas had a dispute with Bernie Ecclestone, Saying that the 2013 American Grand Prix (A F1 race to be held in New Jersey in 2013) would interfere with the Austin Grand Prix. This was resolved in mid-december.

Workers are now working six days a week to get the Track completed in time.

FIA Ban Reactive Ride Height System

Formula One’s governing body has moved to ban controversial new reactive suspension systems like the one being tried out by Lotus.

Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said the FIA had declared the systems to be illegal for the season starting in Australia in March. “The FIA has just banned that particular type of system,” He told ‘The Flying Lap’. Gillan said the clarification had been made in a new technical directive issued by the FIA that he had received shortly before going on air on Friday evening.

While the FIA was not immediately available for comment, other sources confirmed the news. Lotus, tried out their system at a young driver test in Abu Dhabi last year but have not commented on it’s significance for the new car to be unveiled next month. Several other teams, including former champions Williams, were also believed to be looking into similar devices while awaiting an FIA ruling on their legality.

Damon Hill joins Sky Sport’s F1 Team

The 1996 World Champion announced earlier this week that he would be on Sky alongside  David Croft, Natalie Pinkham, Ted Kravitz, Georgie Thompson, Simon Lazenby, Steve Rider and former F1 driver’s Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson.

“There are so many reasons to be excited about the new season and I can’t wait to get started.” Hill said.

However, Hill also said that he will only be with the team for some of the races, as he wants to spend time helping his son, who is trying to get into F1.

He will be there for the following races;  Australia, Bahrain, Monaco, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, India, USA and Brazil.

One seat left on the grid

There is only one seat left on the grid after Bruno Senna scooped up the seat at Williams from Rubens Barrichello. Hispania have yet to announce who will partner Pedro De La Rosa for their 2012 Campaign. They appear to have dropped last years driver Vitantonio Liuzzi whilst Daniel Ricciardo had gone to Toro Rosso.

The spanish team had come out saying they want £6m for the seat, meaning who-ever gets the seat at Hispania, Its going to cost them.

Dropped Lotus driver Vitaly Petrov has been in talks with Hispania about keeping himself in Formula 1 for 2012, But it seems that Dutch GP2 driver Giedo Van Der Garde is the favourite to take the seat. The dutch is the son-in-law of one of the Netherlands richest entrepreneurs and so, should have no problem getting the £6m needed.

Jos Verstappen released from Prison

Former F1 driver Jos Verstappen has been released from prison after manslaughter charges against him were dropped. Verstappen had faced the charge in relation to an incident where he was alleged to have driven a car at his ex-girlfriend. However, according to reports in both Germany and the Netherlands, the charges have now been dropped over a lack of evidence, which has resulted in Verstappen being freed.

This is not the first time that he has been in trouble with the police. In 1998, He fractured the skull of a karter after an altercation at the track. He was sentenced to a 5 year suspended sentence.

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